GM Full Size Vans 1987-1997 Repair Guide

Headlights

Print

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Sealed Beam

See Figures 1 through 7



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Remove the headlight bezel assembly screws



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Remove the bezel assembly



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Remove the headlight retaining ring screws



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Hold the headlight and remove the retaining ring



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: Slide the headlight forward and disengage the electrical connection

  1. Remove the headlight bezel by unfastening the attaching screws.
  2.  
  3. Remove the spring (if any) from the retaining ring and disengage it from the headlamp adjusting screws.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the wiring harness connector.
  6.  

Do not disturb the adjusting screws.

  1. Remove the retaining ring and the headlamp.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: Sealed headlamp mounting - model with a four headlamp assembly

To install:
  1. Install the headlamp in the retaining ring.
  2.  

The number which is molded into the lens must be at the top.

  1. Install the headlamp assembly, twisting the ring slightly to engage the
  2.  

adjusting screws.

  1. Install the retaining ring spring and check the operation of the unit. Install the bezel.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 7: Sealed headlamp mounting - model with a two headlamp assembly

Composite Type
BULB
  1. Make sure the headlight switch is in the OFF position.
  2.  
  3. Reach behind the grille and disengage the electrical connector from the bulb.
  4.  
  5. Turn the bulb counterclockwise and disengage it from the headlamp.
  6.  
  7. Remove the bulb.
  8.  

To install:

See Figures 8 through 12

  1. Insert the bulb and turn it clockwise to engage it in the headlamp.
  2.  
  3. Engage the electrical connection.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 8: Composite headlamp assembly

LENS


Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 9: Loosen the headlight lens retaining screws



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 10: Disengage the bulb's electrical connection



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 11: Loosen the headlight lens housing-to-frame bolt



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 12: Remove the headlight lens assembly

  1. Remove the grille assembly.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  4.  
  5. Disengage the bulb socket's electrical connection.
  6.  
  7. Loosen the screws securing the lens housing to the frame.
  8.  
  9. Loosen the bolt securing the lens housing to the frame and remove the lens.
  10.  
  11. Installation is the reverse of removal.
  12.  

AIMING THE HEADLIGHTS



See Figures 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17

The headlights must be properly aimed to provide the best, safest road illumination. The lights should be checked for proper aim and adjusted as necessary. Certain state and local authorities have requirements for headlight aiming; these should be checked before adjustment is made.


CAUTION
About once a year, when the headlights are replaced or any time front end work is performed on your vehicle, the headlight should be accurately aimed by a reputable repair shop using the proper equipment. Headlights not properly aimed can make it virtually impossible to see and may blind other drivers on the road, possibly causing an accident. Note that the following procedure is a temporary fix, until you can take your vehicle to a repair shop for a proper adjustment.

Headlight adjustment may be temporarily made using a wall, as described below, or on the rear of another vehicle. When adjusted, the lights should not glare in oncoming car or truck windshields, nor should they illuminate the passenger compartment of vehicles driving in front of you. These adjustments are rough and should always be fine-tuned by a repair shop which is equipped with headlight aiming tools. Improper adjustments may be both dangerous and illegal.

For most of the vehicles covered by this guide, horizontal and vertical aiming of each sealed beam unit is provided by two adjusting screws which move the retaining ring and adjusting plate against the tension of a coil spring. There is no adjustment for focus; this is done during headlight manufacturing.

Because the composite headlight assembly is bolted into position, no adjustment should be necessary or possible. Some applications, however, may be bolted to an adjuster plate or may be retained by adjusting screws. If so, follow this procedure when adjusting the lights, BUT always have the adjustment checked by a reputable shop.

Before removing the headlight bulb or disturbing the headlamp in any way, note the current settings in order to ease headlight adjustment upon reassembly. If the high or low beam setting of the old lamp still works, this can be done using the wall of a garage or a building:

  1. Park the vehicle on a level surface, with the fuel tank about 1 / 2 full and with the vehicle empty of all extra cargo (unless normally carried). The vehicle should be facing a wall which is no less than 6 feet (1.8m) high and 12 feet (3.7m) wide. The front of the vehicle should be about 25 feet (7.6m) from the wall.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 13: Location of the aiming screws on most vehicles with sealed beam headlights



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 14: Dual headlight adjustment screw locations - one side shown here (other side should be mirror image)



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 15: Example of headlight adjustment screw location for composite headlamps

  1. If aiming is to be performed outdoors, it is advisable to wait until dusk in order to properly see the headlight beams on the wall. If done in a garage, darken the area around the wall as much as possible by closing shades or hanging cloth over the windows.
  2.  
  3. Turn the headlights ON and mark the wall at the center of each light's low beam, then switch on the "brights" and mark the center of each light's high beam. A short length of masking tape which is visible from the front of the vehicle may be used. Although marking all four positions is advisable, marking one position from each light should be sufficient.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 16: Low beam headlight pattern alignment



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 17: High beam headlight pattern alignment

  1. If neither beam on one side is working, and if another like-sized vehicle is available, park the second one in the exact spot where the vehicle was and mark the beams using the same-side light. Then switch the vehicles so the one to be aimed is back in the original spot. It must be parked no closer to or farther away from the wall than the second vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Perform any necessary repairs, but make sure the vehicle is not moved, or is returned to the exact spot from which the lights were marked. Turn the headlights ON and adjust the beams to match the marks on the wall.
  4.  
  5. Have the headlight adjustment checked as soon as possible by a reputable repair shop.
  6.  

 
label.common.footer.alt.autozoneLogo